Chamber of Commerce honors ‘favorite’ businesses

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Awards are announced at the Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce second annual Meeting and Awards Dinner.

BONNERS FERRY — The Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce held their second Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at the Kootenai Brewing Company on April 27. It was a successful evening with a larger than expected turnout of around 60 people.

The evening featured a four course meal and beer pairing, guest speakers, prizes, a silent auction and awards for Boundary County “Favorites”.

The extravagant four course meal, designed by Executive Chef Verna Linnell, began with a medley of assorted appetizers, including house made bruschetta and mozzarella sticks.

The soup and salad course was accompanied by fresh baked, spent grain rolls, featuring the same grains that are used to make the beer at the Kootenai Brewing Company.

The main course followed with shrimp scampi, roasted garlic beans and seasoned rice, with the guest’s choice of steak, chicken or salmon, all with exquisite marinades or toppings.

The guests were in for a treat when it came to dessert, with their choice of either a molten white chocolate lava cake or a creative variety of house made truffles, including huckleberry truffles first dipped in chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate.

The guest speakers were Ed Atkins, general manager of Elk Mountain Farms, and Mike Naumann, co-owner of Kootenai River Brewing Company. Naumann shared his vision for the future of his brewery.

Atkins spoke about how this is a challenging environment for businesses to operate in, large or small, farming or retail. They all face logistical problems and in a small community it is important to depend on one another.

Businesses from all over Boundary County supplied items and gift certificates for the swag bags, silent auctions, chamber bundle, and drawings that occurred throughout the evening.

The silent auction featured a variety of items. P1FCU donated a summer basket that included four Silverwood tickets, beach towels, sunscreen, and a beach ball. Liquid worm fertilizer and worm soil casting was another auction item donated by Marciavee Cossette.

The awards for Boundary County favorites were chosen by passing out ballots, as well as voting through Facebook. The Bonners Ferry Chamber extended its congratulations to the following businesses.

LuLaRoe by Amanda Merrifield won the award for Favorite Home Based Business. LuLaRoe is a boutique featuring womens and girls skirts, dresses, tops and leggings in fashion forward patterns and styles.

Vinyl Expressions took the award for Favorite New Business with their custom printing shop that produces and sells custom apparel, school spirit items, gifts, signs and more.

Mandy’s Gift Gallery was the winner of the Favorite Place to Spend $$ award. They offers a wide selection of gift and local artisan products, including variety themed paper, cloth napkins, and hand crafted ceramic dishes.

The Favorite Growing/Expanding business award went to Auburn Crest Hospice, a compassionate business with the motto, “Choosing to Live Every Moment.”

On winning the award for Favorite Home Based Business, Merrifield said, “I feel so honored that I was chosen by the amazing people in this community. All my wonderful customers have blessed my life in so many ways and I am so grateful for their love and support!”

The event gave local business owners the opportunity to mix, mingle, and share ideas. “A very nice event,” said Atkins, “A great opportunity for everyone to interact.”

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